Can Feline Uveitis Be Cured? - Uveitis in Cats
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Uveitis in cats is an ophthalmological disorder that can affect the uvea of felines of all ages. However, it is more common in stray cats. Among its most frequent causes are certain systemic pathologies, traumas, contusions, and penetrating wounds due to fights or accidents.
To learn more about feline uveitis, keep reading this AnimalWised article where we'll explain the causes, symptoms and treatment of uveitis in cats. We'll also answer the question many caregivers ask themselves once they suspect their cat has this disorder, is feline uveitis curable?
The uvea and its functions
The uveal tract (or uvea) is a kind of vascular veil that acts as the main protective barrier of the eye. Among its functions, one of the most important is the participation in the production of aqueous humor which is responsible for lubricating the eyeball. Its structure includes a posterior portion, formed by the choroids, and an anterior portion that includes the ciliary bodies and the iris. In this way, it forms an immune barrier to protect the main internal components of the eye.
Due to its delicate vascular structure, the uvea is very vulnerable to internal and external pathological agents to the body. When the uveal tract is affected, it usually involves dysfunctions in the immunity of the eye, which can cause partial or complete loss of visual faculty. When this occurs, our cat can suffer from different cat eye diseases that affect them in different ways, but always threatens their vision.
Uveitis in cats: definition and types
The term “uveitis” is applied by veterinary medicine to designate different inflammatory processes that occurs in the uvea of felines and canines. Depending on the affected eye region, we have the following types of uveitis:
- Anterior uveitis: primarily affects the iris and / or the ciliary bodies.
- Intermediate uveitis: predominantly involves the posterior portion of the ciliary bodies.
- Posterior uveitis: mainly develops in the choroids.
As the boundaries between the components of the uveal tract are diffuse, it is common for the inflammation to spread and jointly affect different uveal structures. In more advanced or chronic cases, uveitis in cats can reach the retina and lead the animal to blindness. To learn more about this condition in canines, you can read our article on uveitis in dogs and other eye problems in dogs.
Causes associated with feline uveitis
As we've previously mentioned, uveitis in cats is associated with endogenous and exogenous factors. Next, we will highlight the main causes of this pathology in domestic felines:
About 70% of uveitis cases in cats are caused by severe systemic pathologies, such as:
- FeLV (Feline Leukemia Virus)
- FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus or "Feline AIDS")
- FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis Virus)
- Systemic mycoses
- Systemic toxoplasmosis
Many diagnoses of uveitis were made in cats with intraocular tumors, mainly in cases of melanoma of the iris. High blood pressure also appears as a risk factor for the development of uveitis, thrombosis and intraocular hemorrhages.
Exogenous causes of feline uveitis are almost always associated with street fights, accidents, or trauma to the eye. The wounds, perforations, cuts and contusions derived from these phenomena can favor the appearance of uveitis.
Symptoms of uveitis in cats
The first symptoms of feline uveitis are considered homogeneous and silent. For this reason, they are usually difficult to recognize early, since they are visual difficulties or disorders of the ophthalmological tract. A cat that suffers from uveitis usually presents the following symptoms:
- Ocular hypotension
- Miosis (constriction of the pupils)
- Retraction of the eyeball
- Excessive tearing
- Hypersensitivity in the eye area
Additionally, they can develop secondary diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma, and retinal detachment. Learn more in our article about cataracts in cats.
A very characteristic aspect of the eyes affected by uveitis is the phenomenon known as Tyndall. The pathology causes the accumulation of erythrocytes, leukocytes and proteins in the aqueous humor, generating turbidity in the anterior portion of the eyeball. When subjected to the impact of light, these particles reflect continuously and can reveal spots on the eyeball.
Can feline uveitis be cured?
Feline uveitis is curable in acute cases where the cat was treated early on in the disorder. This is why it's very important to take our cat to the veterinarian to be properly diagnosed and treated as soon as we observe any symptoms or abnormalities in their behaviour or appearance.
We must keep in mind that if not treated early on, our cat can suffer from loss of vision, or in the worst cases form blindness, which is unfortunately irreversible. Keep reading to learn more about the treatment of uveitis in cats.
Treatment of feline uveitis
The specific treatment of feline uveitis will depend on the recognition of the cause of the pathology in each cat. The veterinarian will proceed appropriately to carry out a differential diagnosis, and will then be able to prescribe the appropriate drugs to eliminate or control the progression of the pathogenic agents in each cat.
Normally, corticosteroid and non-corticosteroid anti-inflammatory eye drops are used to control and prevent the progression of uveitis. In some cases, methylprednisolone injections that are applied under the connective tissue are also recommended. If the animal is in moderate pain, analgesics may be recommended to improve its well-being. If the cat is traumatized and perforated, surgical intervention accompanied by controlled administration of antibiotics will likely be necessary.
It is worth remembering that AnimalWised articles are informative and in no way replace specialized care. The veterinarian is the only professional trained to diagnose and recommend an adequate treatment for our pets. So, if you see that your cat is showcasing any of the symptoms we previously mentioned, or any other abnormalities in their behaviour or appearance, it's important that you take them to the veterinarian as soon as possible to be properly diagnosed and treated. This will vary from animal to animal as each case is different and, therefore, will need a different treatment.
This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.
If you want to read similar articles to Can Feline Uveitis Be Cured? - Uveitis in Cats, we recommend you visit our Eye problems category.